Joel Merrill Fisk, obituary

Posted:  Friday, February 23, 2018 - 6:30pm

ROCKPORT — Joel Merrill Fisk, 90, passed away peacefully Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, at his daughter’s home in Rockport with his family by his side.  Joel was born in Owls Head, Maine, on October 10, 1927, the son of Lewis Sherburne Fisk and Sylvia Castner Fisk.

Joel belonged to the Warren Congregational Church, IOOF, Knights of Pythias, and the American Legion. Over the years Joel served on several town committees in Rockport, and after retiring from public education volunteered at the Farnsworth Museum.

 Joel grew up in Warren where he attended local schools, graduating from Warren High School in 1945. Joel next attended Bates college, graduating in 1949.  Serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he was discharged as a Medical Detachment  Staff Sergeant with the 20th Engineer Combat Bn.  Using the GI Bill, he continued his education, earning a master’s in education from the University of Maine.

He married Helvi Laitinen in 1955. They bought and restored an old Cape Cod in Rockport and made their home there together where they raised daughters Brenda and Joanna. He enjoyed the many family gatherings over the years.  Joel loved his family, music, gardening and books, as well as his many pets, most recently his constant companion, his Cocker Spaniel, Nomad. 

 Joel taught school in Warren, Elliot, and Isleboro before coming to the Rockland school system, where he taught for over 35 years, retiring as principal of Rockland District Junior High. He felt fortunate to have worked with so many fine students and educators in M.S.A.D. 5 over the years. Joel was very proud of his daughter, Joanna, when she followed him into the field of education.

  Joel was especially close to grandsons Merrill, Andrew, and Isaac Hall and was very proud of them. “Grampy” enjoyed very much following their activities,  pursuits  of higher education and plans for the future.  He will be greatly missed by “the boys.”

 Joel was predeceased by his wife Helvi in 2005.

 Survivors include daughter Joanna and grandsons Merrill, Andrew, and Isaac Hall, of Rockport,  daughter Brenda Fowler of Lake George, New York: grandchildren Kelley Healy and Henry Mattern of New York, Keith Mattern, of Florida, and Jessica Fowler, of Thomaston;  nieces Nancy Stone, of Rockland, Carolyn Schwartz and her husband, Arlen, of Rockport,  great-nephews Josh Stone and his wife Chris and son Eugene of San Diego, California, Jason Stone of Rockland, several great grandchildren, and his beloved rescue dog, Nomad.

 At Joel’s request there will be no service. Burial will be at the West Rockport Cemetery in the spring.

Memorial donations may be made in Joel’s memory  to Make-A-Wish Maine at 477 Congress Street, Suite M1, Portland, ME, or Maine Coast Animal Rescue, PO BOX 670, Lincolnville Beach, ME 04849.

Arrangements are with Hall’s of Waldoboro. To extend online condolences please visit